Mercury Transit : November 8, 2006

Mercury Crossing

Steve Karl, a microscopist in biological science, viewed the Mercury transit Nov. 8 using a 10-inch telescope. The large telescope was one of three available for visitors who stopped by the special outdoor classroom at the Fullerton Arboretum. More than 100 people visited the Arboretum and used the telescopes on site to view the astronomic occurrence that happens only about 13 times a century. The last Mercury transit visible from the United States was in 1999. “People were enthusiastic because most don’t get to see the planet up-close,” Karl said. A computer simulation of the transit also was set up, along with a planet walk, in which scale representations were placed around the Arboretum. Both displays were popular with children and adults alike.